Friday 16 November 2007


I certainly unleashed a flurry of responses with my recent posting about mushrooms... I'd no idea that people felt so passionately about them!

Anyway, you may recall that I was mildly critical of mushroom soup with its unhealthy colour of decay... This prompted a recollection of what I've always thought of as a decidedly odd line in the lyrics to Howard Ashman and Alan Menken song, 'Be Our Guest', from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Here's the opening of that song as written by Ashman and Menken:
Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck,
And we'll provide the rest:
Soup du jour,
hors d'oeuvres,
Why, we only live to serve.

Try the grey stuff,
It's delicious!
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes...

Now, whilst I admire any songwriter who can rhyme 'delicious' with 'dishes', I do wonder why they would ever write "Try the GREY stuff"?

Maybe it's mushroom soup - what else? But how exceptionally unappealing it sounds!

I mean, why GREY stuff, when RED, GREEN, PINK or several other colours would have fitted the lyric just as well and sounded a good deal tastier?


Boll Weavil said...

I don't think I would want to eat anything that was red or pink Mr B. I might run to the odd helping of mushy peas but I prefer my food to be subdued in tonality.
I thought the song was the highlight of a great Disney film - a bit of a return to form after some very tepid low-grade stuff which they seem to delight in turning out nowadays.Great animation to even if their people are still a bit all-American !

Anonymous said...

But of course!, childs around the world (from Europe to Africa, from Asia to America) love draw pink giraffes and blue tigers, and they love too talk with surrealistic terms, is the essence of the childhood. How can Mr Sibley-Pan forget this.....I think that the composer know very good the language of the childs, they know that the candles can`t speek, but if a candle speek it`s going to talk about grey stuff of course...

Anonymous said...

Of course, by "grey stuff" they could have meant pickled brains? Somehow I think even you would prefer the mushrooms to pickled brains, Brian?

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks everyone: it's all a lot clearer now!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

Are you sure that you haven't misheard/misread this line? Couldn't it be 'the GAY stuff'?!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL - Actually, you're probably right! ;-)

Anonymous said...

i have to agree that "the grey stuff" doesn't sound all that appealing, especially with the generous culinary sampling that was dancing across the table. i saw at least 10 things i would have reached for before i touched the sludge, no matter what the dishes said!
belle, however, must disagree with you about the mushroom soup, because if i remember correctly, she dipped her finger right in!

Diva of Deception said...

I am concerned by boll weavil's comment about never eating red stuff.... I can understand ketchup but what about tomatoes or even strawberries, raspberries, cranberries....?